The Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering

Heather Douglas

hdouglas

Chair in Science and Society
Department of Philosophy
University of Waterloo

Websites:

http://philosophy.uwaterloo.ca/people/Douglas.html
http://uwaterloo.academia.edu/HeatherDouglas

Education

Heather received her Ph.D. from the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, and earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Physics at the University of Delaware in 1991. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation; she was recently a visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Biography

Heather Douglas is the Waterloo Chair in Science and Society in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  Her book, Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal, was published in 2009 by University of Pittsburgh Press.  She has served on the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association, the steering committee of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, and the Section L committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Waterloo, she was the Phibbs Assistant Professor of Science and Ethics at the University of Puget Sound (1998-2004),  Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee (2004-2011), and Visiting Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh (2011).  Her work focuses on the interface between science and policy, with particular attention to the role of values in science, the relationship between citizens and experts in democracies, and the norms that should govern the weighing of complex sets of evidence for use in policy-making.

Representative publications

“Weighing Complex Evidence in a Democratic Society” (2012), Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, vol. 22, pp. 139-162.

“The Dark Side of Science,” The Scientist, November 16, 2011, http://the-scientist.com/2011/11/16/opinion-the-dark-side-of-science/.  Reprinted in The Norton Field Guide to Writing, 3rd Edition, Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Fracnine Weinberg (eds.), W.W. Norton Company, 2013.

“Engagement for Progress: Applied Philosophy of Science in Context” (2010), Synthese, vol. 177, pp. 317-335.

Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.

“The Role of Values in Expert Reasoning” (2008), Public Affairs Quarterly vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 1-18.